Switzerland: Canton of Valais bans fishing tourism after pressure from environmentalists

In the Swiss province of Valais, foreigners will not be able to hunt deer as of next year. Locals can still practice this practice if they obtain fishing permits.

Visitors contribute more than 500,000 euros to cantonal treasuries each year. But last fall, recreational fishing caused heated disputes between environmentalists and hunters.

“Trophy hunting is a practice from another era a bit like safari, which is questionable from an ethical point of view – because it is clear that we are dealing with wildlife – and also because there are gray areas around wildlife. It is a biological problem activity because we are dealing with a certain species. Of animals: Old males that reproduce well and ensure the survival of wild populations, ”explains Jeremy Savioz, a member of the Pro Natura Conservation Society.

“I’ve seen how many times, not only chamois, but also mountain goats and all the animals: When they get old, they get finished off by the youngest,” said the former director of the area’s fish and game division, Narcisse Sebe.

This year, around 540 animals were released for hunting in the area. But not all of them were shot by tourists, 320 of them were hunted only in order to maintain a natural balance.

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